TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Federal Trade Commission asked a federal judge to hold Martin Shkreli, known as “Pharma Bro,” for violating a ban on working in the pharmaceutical industry for life. The former pharmaceutical company owner was banned from working in the industry in February 2022.
Now, the FTC says Shkreli is in contempt of court for “failing to provide the FTC with information needed to determine whether he is violating” the order. Shkreli recently created and is operating a new company, called Druglike, Inc., according to FTC’s report.
As a result, the FTC filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to hold him accountable, saying he has failed to comply with their request for documents or be interviewed about the company, and its potential violation of the court order banning his work in the pharmaceutical field.
“Martin Shkreli’s failure to comply with the court’s order demonstrates a clear disregard for the law,” Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said. “The FTC will not hesitate to deploy the full scope of its authorities to enable a comprehensive investigation into any potential misconduct.”
A judge found that his conduct was “egregious, deliberate, repetitive, long-running, and ultimately dangerous,” and banned his participation in the pharmacy industry for life. He was also found liable for nearly $65 million in disgorgement, or profiting from illegal or harmful acts.
According to the FTC, they first worked to force his compliance with the ban in October 2022, but he has since “disregarded the agency’s repeated requests for him to provide a compliance report and access to relevant records, and to sit for an interview.” Shkreli left federal prison in May 2022, after serving part of a seven-year sentence.
The lack of answer to their inquiries led to their Friday federal filing, asking a judge to ensure Shkreli does not violate the order and asking the court to “show cause why Shkreli should not be held in civil contempt for violating these provisions and to order Shkreli to comply with these information requests within 21 days of the court’s decision.”
Previously, Shkreli was indicted on a variety of charges, including securities fraud and “orchestrat[ing] an illegal anticompetitive scheme to perpetuate a monopoly” of Daraprim, a life-saving treatment for toxoplasmosis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes toxoplasmosis as a “leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States.” Daraprim is also known as an antiparasite treatment for those with AIDS, malaria, and cancer.
After buying the company which produced Daraprim in 2015, the now 39-year-old former CEO raised the price of the drug from $17.50 to $750 per pill, leading to widespread outcry. He became known as “Pharma Bro” for the price increase, as a pejorative nickname.